NJSPRA’s School Communication Awards recognize outstanding print and electronic collateral material in New Jersey educational communications programs. The primary role of the professional school communicator is to disseminate important information about schools and school districts to all constituencies. NJSPRA developed the School Communication Awards competition to recognize professional school communicators in New Jersey – and the products they develop – that go above and beyond to disseminate important messages to their publics.

CATEGORIES

  • Electronic Newsletter This category will focus on news that is directed towards external audiences, published periodically and disseminated electronically to the community. E-newsletter entries must include two different issues (e.g., two different months, quarters, etc.) to qualify as an entry. An archived link or printed-version handout may be submitted for this category. Student written and/or produced newsletters or other publications are not eligible for consideration.

  • Marketing, Branding, Image This category includes all print branding collateral material, such as logos, stationary and other graphic treatments; advertisements and products that contain persuasive messages; brochures; and items that communicate a district’s special qualities to potential constituents. Branding/image packages must include three or more individual pieces to qualify as an entry. 

  • Media Relations – Human interest This category focuses on the human interest side of media relations. This category will be judged on appropriate timing of the story, media reach, and level of human interest. Two sets of the printed publication (or screen shot of an electronic publication) must be provided.

  • Photography This category focuses on promoting education in the New Jersey schools. Suggested themes for the submissions are success stories in public schools, equity in education and the future of education. Photographs should depict the Love of Public Education theme and be the original work of the photographer/contestant. Photographs must be in a .jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .psd, or .png formats and submitted in high resolution (1MB and higher). Photos must be appropriate for a wide audience. Submitting a photo(s) implies permission for use in online viewing and marketing purposes.Social Media This category will be based on strategic usage of various social media platforms to engage stakeholders and communicate district information. Two sets of printed examples (screen shots are acceptable) and a brief explanation of effective usage must be provided for consideration.

  • Special Interest Publication This category includes publications that fall outside of the other categories, such as employee recruitment materials, employee newsletters, handbooks, general district information, specialized informational publications, finance publications, etc. 

  • Video This category includes videos that were produced for external use in promoting the district or communicating a specific message. Include a brief explanation of the video’s purpose and a link to the video as all videos must be available to view online. (Note: Videos produced by students will not be considered.). 

  • Website This category is based on overall design, ease of use and up-to-date content. Please provide website address on application.

 

CRITERIA FOR JUDGING

Entries will be judged based on a number of criteria:

  • Overall design following basic design rules, such as use of photos and graphics, subheads, and other elements

  • Comprehensive content and focus on audience

  • Clear communication through writing and design

  • Websites also judged on user-friendliness

Entries are evaluated by a non-biased panel of public relations professionals. Each award entry is judged on its own merit in terms of how it meets the award criteria and follows entry rules.

NJSPRA may also opt to issue no awards if no entries are deemed worthy of recognition. Individual judging assessments are confidential and will not be released. Winners will be notified in advance of the Awards Ceremony so they can plan travel. However, the specific award will be announced at an upcoming meeting.

Guidelines for NJSPRA Members

  • NJSPRA members may submit in two categories per school district they represent. Enter only materials (excluding websites) produced after March 2017. Members may submit entries in additional categories for a fee of $40 per category. NJSPRA will invoice the district for the fees associated with additional entries. Previous entries may not be re-entered. 

  • All material submitted becomes the property of NJSPRA and may be reproduced, displayed, referenced, or summarized in an NJSPRA publication or other resource.

  • Submission of any entry shall constitute entrant’s representation that all material is original and/or free from unauthorized use of copy, design, art, and/or photographs from other sources.

  • Entry deadline is July 6, 2018.

Guidelines for Non-Members

  • Non-members may submit in one category per school district represented. Non-member districts may submit entries in additional categories for a fee of $40 per category. NJSPRA will invoice the district for the fees associated with additional entries.

  • Enter only materials produced after March 2017.  Previous entries may not be re-entered.

  • All material submitted becomes the property of NJSPRA and may be reproduced, displayed, referenced, or summarized in an NJSPRA publication or other resource.

  • Submission of any entry shall constitute entrant’s representation that all material is original and/or free from unauthorized use of copy, design, art, and/or photographs from other sources.

  • Entry deadline is July 6, 2018.

 

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